Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Now, where was I?

Good question. Lots of catching up to do.

Psychology course: Done! And I got an A, but this time I worked for it.

Then I went and signed up for a program called Passport to Teaching, which will allow me to get certified without taking any more college courses. I just need to pass two tests -- one on Professional Teaching Knowledge, and one in my subject area (Secondary Math). This is a lot less expensive, too, than the 15 more college credits I needed.

Vacation Bible School was in there somewhere, too. I have been in charge of the 5th grade for the past 6 summers, but I was finishing that psychology class and didn't have time to do justice to both, so I was a helper in the 4th grade this year.

In June, my husband came home from the National Training Center in the California desert (Death Valley). What? Oh, yeah -- I haven't mentioned that after 11 1/2 years of retirement, during which he has been teaching high school JROTC, he has gone back on active duty in the Army for about 16 months. So, you might guess what they were training for.... He was home for a week or so, then we went to spent a couple days each with my parents and his, then we dropped him off at Ft. Riley, KS and drove away. He flew to Kuwait City a couple of days later, and he and his team are now in Iraq. They'll be there another 11 months or so. Prayers for his team's safety and that nothing in my house goes drastically wrong while he's away will be greatly appreciated! (He's the tall, dark & handsome one standing front & center in the photo below.)

Knitting ... it looks like I have finished 2 pair of socks and a replacement pair of felt clogs since my last post. Not real impressive.

The first sock started out as the Reversai pattern from Sock Madness. I got knocked out of the competition that round, so I modified the pattern -- the garter stitch sole, which made the sock reversible, just wasn't working for me. Mine are not reversible, but that's ok. The yarn is Regia 4-ply Nordic Color #5511. I got it some time ago from Kim at Socks for Soldiers, and these socks will be going to her, so she can send them on to Iraq or Afghanistan. The purpose of the group is to knit socks to wear in uniform, but she also takes leisure socks.

The other pair of socks is knit in Colinette Jitterbug, in the color Charcoal. I lost track of the number of times these were ripped & reknit. I tried plain stockinette feet -- too loose. I tried a lace pattern -- didn't like it. Finally went back to the beaded rib I had originally thought to use. My proudest accomplishment on these is the heel. Since Jitterbug is a slightly heavier fingering weight, the yardage is a little shorter than with most sock yarn. I had carefully split the skein in half, and wanted to work toe-up so I could knit the foot to my length, then the leg could go until I ran out of yarn. But I didn't want to do a short-row heel. No problem. I have 2 different sources for directions for a heel-flap & gusset done toe-up. And I have tried them both. They're pretty much the same; I wasn't really happy with them. So I hunted around for other ideas. And thought about how to reverse a cuff-down heel flap and gusset. Looked at the You're Putting Me On sock by Judy Gibson. The light bulb started to come on. But she turns the heel and then you have to pick up stitches along the edge. I knew it could be done without having to pick up stitches. Then I checked Wendy's free patterns, and found the answer. Wendy's toe-up slipstitch heel sock has the coolest heel method. The only problem is her numbers and mine weren't the same. No problem. I teach high school math. I can handle a little knitting math, right? And I did it! This heel fits beautifully.

My daughter managed to wear holes in the soles of her felt clogs in about a year. I patched them with a bit of needle felting, and they held for awhile, but when she got home from school in May, it was clearly time for a new pair. Toes sticking out of the bottom of her slippers - she looked like a classic hobo. These will have suede soles attached, in the hope that they will last a little longer! The soles aren't attached yet, because that requires sewing, but I'll try to get to that later today.

Finally, I am also working on UFOs (unfinished objects). This one is the Vintage Velvet Scarf from Scarf Style, in Blue Heron Chunky Rayon Chenille. I purchased the yarn from an ebay seller eons ago. The color is called "Heather". Started the scarf in June, 2 years ago. I did one 22-row repeat and set it aside. I am now up to almost 5 repeats. It's not hard. There are really only 2 rows to memorize (even and odd), and then rows 5 and 16 of the repeat get the cable crossing. I added stitch markers (wasn't using them, even though the pattern says to), and since they're different, I know whether I'm on an even row or an odd row. I think the color in the top pic is more accurate.

Whew! Sorry about the long post! Maybe if I posted more often, I wouldn't have so much to say all at once.

Last, but definitely not least, I wanted to point you toward a raffle for a good cause. It's on earthchicknits blog. She's got some fabulous prizes, too.